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SD Sheriff to Probe Use of Pepper Spray at Political Fundraiser

The incident occurred as a fundraising party for Congressional candidate, Francine Busby, was winding down at a private residence in Cardiff. The party’s hostess refused to provide her date of birth to the sheriff’s deputy, who arrived around 9:30 p.m. to investigate a noise complaint. A scuffle allegedly ensued, during which the officer used pepper spray and arrested the woman.

Jan Caldwell is spokesperson for the Sheriff’s department. “With this case,” she says, “it was decided by the under sheriff and the sheriff, because it’s a high profile case, we can’t ascertain all the facts from media accounts, so the best vehicle to ascertain exactly what happened in Cardiff on Friday night is to initiate an internal investigation.”

Caldwell says the case has been assigned to a detective, and witnesses from the party will be questioned. She says there is no deadline by which time the investigation must be completed.


Busby says there was no music at the event. She addressed the guests with a bullhorn, just after 8 p.m., something she says she’s done at hundreds of fundraisers in the past without any problem.

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